Sociologists use various theoretical perspectives to explain the occurrence of certain things in life. For instance, they use theories to describe social systems such as family, institutions, and social groups (Crossman, 2018). Theoretical perspectives are also referred to as sociology concepts. They are usually considered as paradigms since they are used as conceptual structures when formulating explanations or in experiments (Little & McGivern, 2016). This paper seeks to identify and discuss the sociology concepts in the film, "Family is The Only Thing that Exists".
The film mentioned above is an African-American movie where a majority of the characters are African-Americans. The film's storyline illustrates the value and impact of family. A family is considered as an institution which forms part of the society. In the movie, there is a clear indication that the family holds a crucial role in defining who a person is. For example, Evan Holloway, one of the characters in the film has been brought up by his grandparents. As a result, he seems rebellious and unruly. He initially has a strained relationship with his grandmother, who he feels doesn't understand him. Also, Evan feels deprived of his mother's love and, therefore, does dramatic things to attract his grandmother's attention. If Evan had been brought up by his biological parents, maybe he wouldn't be behaving in the same manner.
His grandmother Naomi Holloway, on the other hand, appears as a strict and reserved woman. She is a widow to a former politician, and she wishes that her grandson would grow up as a dignified man. She feels that Evan is being rebellious and does not appreciate what his grandparents have done for him. Nevertheless, her married life was not easy, as her husband was always engaged in work. In addition to that, their daughter (Evan's mother) was never the type that they had hoped she would be. She becomes a drug addict who could not even take care of herself or her newborn son. The grandparents, therefore, had to take up the initiative of raising their grandson.
Another family is also depicted in the film when the Clintons, Holloways, and a celebrity (Kira Geoffreys) become their guests on their island resort. The Hondholm's are the typical beautiful family. They run a resort on an island, whose main aim is offering solace to miserable, hurt, and wounded people. The property has been in the family for three hundred years and was a slave settlement. The couple and their daughter, Freya Hondholm, are welcoming, thoughtful, and have devoted themselves to helping their miserable guests.
The church is the second institution that is identified in this film. It is portrayed as a place that instills hope and faith to members of society. In the movie, a couple by the name Clinton and Vonda Hines is part of a church community. Mr. Clinton is the church's reverend, and the couple is going through an awkward moment after the death of their only daughter. The couple receives immense love and support from the church. However, the Clintons go for a vacation since the reverend is unable to perform his duties as he is overwhelmed grief.
Socialization is an inevitable aspect of society. The main characters in the film, though from different backgrounds find themselves in a scenario where they can interact. The island resort becomes a crucial place where they seek to find solace after running away from various situations. The celebrity, Kara Geoffreys, has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons and is at the verge of getting married. However, the engagement had been crafted as a publicity stunt, but the celebrity couple later falls in love. Kira runs away from her fake life to honestly find herself.
Once on the island, socialization plays a significant role in the characters' healing process. It is depicted in sharing of their fears, feelings and ideas. For instance, Clinton and Evan interact during a fishing activity, where Evan shares his aspirations of building his own identity. In another scenario, Evan and Freya are engaged in a conversation where both share their fears and expectations. Mr. Clinton can heal after he opens up to his wife about the impact of their daughter's death. He admits that he has been overwhelmed by grief to the point of questioning his faith. This interaction helps the couple identify their major challenge, and they later find out that they are expecting a baby.
Socialization is also seen as a tool for building relationships and creating memories. Though the characters had initially been strangers to each other, their stay at the resort helps them to know each other and create memorable moments. The host couple, after a thoughtful conversation, agrees that they should let their guests find themselves and identify their root problems. The guests are forced to work together, and in the process, they talk to each other. For example, Evan and Freya become good friends as they spend ample time together. The two teenagers later find out that they have a common interest in music. Their vacation is culminated by a wedding ceremony between Kira and her fiance, Rafael.
The 'Role Theory' is another sociology concept that can be identified in the film. According to (Ebaugh & Ebaugh, 1988), expectations from an individual and society determine how one behaves. Consequently, these expectations are translated into the role that a person plays in society. In the film, for example, Mr. Clinton is requested to pray before the guests have lunch. The hosts expect him to act as a spiritual leader since he is a reverend. If he had not been a reverend, the host couple would not have requested him to perform the task. In another situation, Kira Geoffrey's is forced to live a fake life as a celebrity because the public expects her to be glamorous and live lavishly. Though it does not make her happy, Kira yields to the demands of publicity, but later gives up and seeks her true self. Therefore, if Kira had been brought up differently, she would not live to impress the public in the name of creating a name for herself.
Another scenario where the role theory can be applied is when the Hondholms disagree with college. Mr. and Mrs. Hondholm insist that their daughter should pursue a college education, but their daughter is reluctant. Having grown up on the island, Freya Hondholm believes that it is her niche and she is not willing to give it up. However, her parents think that college will be an eye-opener to their daughter and would gear her in the direction she should take.
The film, "Family is the Only Thing that Exists" is valuable from a sociological perspective. It is because it brings out various sociology concepts which sociologists use in explain social matters. For instance, the family is a building block of society, and the film has emphasized its importance. Also, other institutions such as the church have been highlighted and the value that they add to society. Thirdly, the film has shown that humans are social beings who need to interact and learn from each other. Lastly, the role theory has been highlighted and shows how expectations determine how a person behaves.
I firmly believe that the film is educative as well as entertaining. The storyline is quite engaging, and one can't help but anticipate watching its end. It has taught me that family is valuable and supports one when everything seems to be crumbling down. It also shows that building relationships is vital as no man is an island. We will always find something to learn from another person, and this can help us to overcome life's challenges. The film also teaches that love is a pillar which holds a family together. It is, therefore, a film that I would recommend anyone to watch.
In conclusion, sociology concepts are theoretical perspectives that are helpful in explaining the nature of society. They are used by sociologists to shed light on various social aspects. The film, "Family, is the Only Thing that Exists" depicts different sociology concepts such as symbolic interactionism which is highlighted in socialization, structural-functionalism which is seen in institutions, and the role theory. It is a valuable work of art as it focuses on family, which is a vital component of the society.
Crossman, A. (2018). The Major Theoretical Perspectives of Sociology. https://www.thoughtco.com/theoretical-perspectives-3026716
Ebaugh, H. R., & Ebaugh, H. R. F. (1988). Becoming an ex: The process of role exit. University of Chicago Press.
Little, W., McGivern, R., & Kerins, N. (2016). Introduction to Sociology-2nd Canadian Edition. BC Campus.
The film, "Family is The Only Thing that Exists". (2017). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3bPiDA7O1o
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